Applying to veterinary school is a huge accomplishment in itself, so give yourself a pat on the back! Seriously, you’ve had to complete a substantial amount of college coursework to qualify as an applicant. And take it from me, someone that overcame a learning disability halfway through college, that it isn’t always an easy process. With this new found sense of confidence, let’s address some important aspects of the application process.
If you haven’t taken the hint, be confident! This is the first step. If you don’t believe in yourself then your writing and potential interviews will show it. It’s important to reflect on your experience at school, in the lab(s), in the clinic(s), or on your team(s), etc. Where do your strong points lie? What did you do so well that made you an asset to wherever you were/whatever you did? How did you help someone along the way? What did you learn that you might not have already known? Get the hint? Veterinary schools are looking for personal and professional growth. Incorporating this material into your application and interview will reflect the true breadth of your character.
The second part of the process is the mental game, realizing the potential for denial. The competition is steep; I didn’t get accepted to school my first time applying. So what do you do? Well the first thing is to ask the schools that rejected you. It’s important to know how the respective admissions committee(s) felt about your application. Remember, demonstrating personal and professional growth is your key to acceptance. So if you’ve got the heart and you plan to reapply, take advantage of your time and work on your shortcomings. I retook courses; I worked almost seventy hours a week at a dairy and small animal clinic. I volunteered for an equine vet, and shadowed overnights at a small animal emergency clinic. Crazy right, but that’s the best part about reapplying; you have the opportunity to fully invest yourself in your future career. Doesn’t sound like such a negative thing after all.
Here’s the point, as a vet you will need to continue learning and pushing yourself. Schools want to see that. If you are fortunate to be admitted, don’t forget to continue pushing yourself and taking full advantage of the opportunities afforded to you. If you are denied acceptance, be tenacious and make yourself a better person. What might seem like a harsh denial may actually be a tremendous growing experience.